Are you wondering what to do with an old computer? Old computer disposal can be a tricky task, especially since safe and proper disposal isn't as simple as dropping the device into a garbage can. Personal computers contain tons of information about their owners, and not all of the components of household computers are safe for the environment. This guide presents information on a variety of options for old computer disposal, paving the way for you to enjoy your new computer with peace of mind.
Things to keep in mind:
* Identify Theft is a very real risk when you dispose of a computer, unless you carefully safeguard against leaving any identifying information on the computer's hard drive. Computer programs which meet the Department of Defense's standards for information removal are available; you can also read more about computer security from the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the Guidelines for Media Sanitation.
* Many people choose to simply remove any hard drives from the old computer before disposing of it. Never assume that your information has been successfully deleted unless you employ removal software or physically remove the drive.
* Computers contain harmful substances, so don't simply toss your old computer into the trash can. National Geographic Magazine offers an illustration of components that are harmful to the environment in a color-coded guide which outlines the seven different toxic substances. Many waste disposal companies prohibit old computer disposal through routine waste pick-up, so alternative methods may be required. This is one great reason to consider the environment when making your choice.
* Don't dispose of an old computer without considering the reusable components. Even if you need to upgrade your system, your mouse, keyboard, monitor and other hardware may be compatible with your new machine. Not only is this a great way to save money when purchasing a new computer, but it also eliminates unnecessary waste and makes disposal of computers quicker and easier since you have fewer materials to be removed.
Positive methods of old computer disposal:
* Consider donating your old computer to a local school or library, which may be in dire need of extra machines. This allows you to give back to your community, and your donation may be tax deductable. You can also contact nonprofit groups, such as the Computer With Causes organization, who take donated computers, laptops and iPads* to be distributed to global education programs, community centers, Veterans' programs and more.
* Recycling centers often have a program specific to old computer disposal and other technological wastes. This option helps eliminate computer waste in landfills, and ensures the toxic components are adequately disposed of.
* Some small businesses who deal in computer sales, repair and services offer a trade-in program for functioning, outdated old computers. These programs often give you in-store credit or cash for your personal computer. Knowing how to get rid of old computers for money can help you fund the purchase of your new computer while safely eliminating the old one.
* If you would prefer a more hands-on method of old computer disposal and want to ensure your machine is used by someone in need, why not consult friends and family before donating or recycling your machine? Alternatively, you can look on free classified websites, such as Freecycle and Craigslist, for individuals in your community in need of a personal computer. Just be sure to remove your hard drive or wipe your personal information before giving away your machine.
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